If movies about talking cars or warlike robots don’t interest you, Project Nim is the latest documentary (following Buck) to offer a satisfying, adult alternative. It tells a story that is both stranger and more thought-provoking than most Hollywood fare.
The Nim of the title is Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was given the pun-ny name (a play on Noam Chomsky) when he was separated from his mother and placed in the care of Columbia University professor Herbert Terrace in 1973. The mere thought of a mother and child being torn apart is wrenching enough, but that’s just the first in a series of—
Some years ago, Robert Redford made an excellent movie called The Horse Whisperer, based on Nicholas Evans’ novel. It turns out that a horseman named
Buck Brannaman helped inspire Evans to create the character that Redford played; he even worked on the movie. This new documentary shows that Buck’s real-life story is as compelling as any piece of fiction, and filmmaker Cindy Meehl has brought it to life with enormous skill and good taste. (Even Redford attests to—
If you’re expecting a prosaic documentary spotlighting a group of editors in ties sitting around a conference table, debating what’s worth putting on the front page of the country’s leading newspaper, you’re in for a surprise. Andrew Rossi’s vibrant film hones in on a handful of colorful figures on the Times staff in order to personalize the story and give it focus. By profiling them and their work he provides a razor-sharp picture of how a story is generated, reported, edited, and showcased in print.
He also deals with the larger issues facing not just the Times but—
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